Workshop with Brian Yamami!

Spring concert might be over, but that doesn’t mean we’ve slacked off! At our second to last thursday practice, Kazan had the honor of learning from taiko master Brian Yamami, who worked us through the skills of the sukeroku form and style.

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First, we played through sections of RDF (Rising Dragon Fist) and Yodan-uchi, and Bryan gave comments to improve our playing, such as leaning in, getting lower, engaging more with the drum. He also gave us a critique about the composition of RDF itself, such as which moves don’t quite fit in as well as others, and alternative methods of doing the “traveling” portions of Yodan-uchi (sukeroku). He also talked about the history of Sukeroku style itself.

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Then, a few members performed solos for Matsuri, and he gave insightful comments on making more use of dynamics and buildup through the solo. Every taiko player/group has a different approach, but his comments were quite helpful and insightful in helping us improve our form and really understand the basis for the pieces we play.

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Afterwards, some of Kazan went for an after practice dinner at Nakwon in K-town, one of our traditionally frequented spots. Following dinner, just when we thought we couldn’t eat any more, we remembered that we had to get boba too while we were there! Overall, an evening of insightful lessons and good food- definitely one of the best ways to spend a thursday night!

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